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Admiral Husband Kimmel
Adm. Husband E. Kimmel
Photograph courtesy U.S. Naval Historical Center



1. WAS THE U.S. PREPARED FOR THE ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR?
 

No. Although it was obvious that war was coming to the Pacific, the war in Europe and the ongoing Battle of the Atlantic against German submarines and warships had convinced the U.S. Navy of the need to send many ships and aircraft from the Pacific to the Atlantic to help protect U.S. interests and, indirectly, to help the British.

In the Pacific many of the available aircraft were being sent westward, to bases in the Philippines, where the Japanese attack was expected to come first. Also, Wake Island and the Midway Islands were being reinforced to secure them as refueling stops for planes being flown to the Philippines.

Although warning radar, fighter aircraft, and antiaircraft guns were available at Pearl Harbor, the commanders, Adm. Huband E. Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, had not established a viable air defense system.

 

 
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